This new coronavirus or more notoriously dubbed as COVID-19 has been the talk of the town – or the world for a few months now. It’s not easy talking about something that has been compared to the angel of death.
This virus seems to have just popped right out of nowhere and caused oblivion to many. This novel coronavirus was unknown to science and humans until it erupted in Wuhan, China a few months ago – and the rest was history.
COVID-19 – More Than a Chinese Coronavirus; Now a Global Pandemic
The “Chinese coronavirus”, as President Trump would call it, originated from China but is becoming a worldwide or global pandemic that assails every nation. Scientists and researchers worldwide are rushing to know everything they can about this pathogen in the effort to create a vaccine that can help nations break free from this disease.
Scientists are also learning that some patients are asymptomatic and may pass on the virus unknowingly to other people. Social distancing now has become a norm for nations with community outbreaks.
This air of uncertainty could either move people to take more precautions or just shrug it off thinking that it may just be ticking social media bomb and blown out of proportions. But, do not settle in your comfort zone. Be extra cautious now more than ever.
This virus has many uncertainties or unknowns – which makes it lethal to those who would take it easy. You should be extra vigilant now rather than be sorry in the end. Here are some questions and the answers you need to know to cover all bases with the COVID-19 pandemic.
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
There are multiple ways that this novel coronavirus spread from one person to another. It is said that the COVID-19 air droplets can linger and survive in the air for several hours or up to three hours.
This is said to stick longer on cardboard or for over 24 hours and around 2 to 3 days in steel and plastic surfaces. With that in mind, you would have to be careful when you go out in public places and touching door handles, tables, and other surfaces.
A single air droplet of COVID-19 is said to have tends to thousands of viruses which would also depend on the stage of infection the carrier has. You can inactivate the coronaviruses in a minute by using at least 70% alcohol or a hydrogen peroxide bleach. High-temperature levels can also kill coronaviruses quickly.
The virus can spread in the following routes – fecal, droplets or on surfaces, and airborne. There may be other routes which would need further studies. Further research is needed right here.
It is now important to enforce strict sanitation procedures such as the washing of hands for at least 20 seconds and also sanitize frequently touched objects and surfaces. Using 70% to 90% alcohol is recommended as an additional layer of protection for you and your family.
Is COVID-19 Reinfection Possible?
After recovering from COVID-19, patients would either have immunity to the disease or could still test positive for this coronavirus strain. It’s too early now to determine whether reinfection is possible.
A study on Macaque monkeys though was encouraging because after the monkeys got better from COVID-19, and then exposed again to the virus, the monkeys are found to have a strong immune response and were not reinfected. This is good news because it means the viral proteins of this strain do elicit a good immune response. Human trials are up next but it will take some time.
Researchers should wait for several months after infection to test if patients have become immune to COVID-19. The common cold virus, which is in the same family tree or genome as that of COVID-19, shows that reinfection is said to be possible in a few years and not in weeks or months.
At the moment, there is no data that shows reinfection can happen with patients who have recovered from COVID-19.
Is COVID-19 Deadly?
Is COVID-19 really that fatal? Many nations would want to know. The death rate for each country would change. In fact, Wuhan, China, where COVID-19 began are now getting better with treating or detecting the disease at an early stage that they were able to control or manage fatalities. Right now, Italy has the most death toll in the world.
It seems that the estimated death rate varies depending on different variables like the levels of risk for each country, healthcare system preparedness, testing facilities, and the like.
Knowing the people who are at most risk for contracting the coronavirus us also crucial to determining the COVID-19 death rate. Groups who are most prone to having severe COVID-19 symptoms are the elderly, those who have compromised immune systems, and people suffering from chronic ailments.
While it appears that COVID-19 attacks the elderly or older people, it also afflicts children but thankfully only shows mild symptoms. However, influenza is most easily spread by children so it is advised for children to be kept at home or away from any risk of infection.
Hospitalization is also observed in groups of ages between 22 to 44 years old. Men are also said to be more prone to getting COVID-19 compared to women, but of course, it’s very early to conclude when it comes to gender-specific risks.
More so, the frontliners or the doctors, nurses, and other medical or hospital staff that work closely or are directly in contact with the COVID-19 patients are found to be more seriously affected by the virus. This could be linked to the increased exposure to the COVID-19 and also the physical, mental, and psychological strain it places on the healthcare workforce.
Could this COVID-19 Pandemic Be Endemic?
Every single one of us wants COVID-19 to end right now. It’s every nation’s prayer. If and when COVID-19 would end or if it could be endemic is a possibility especially with the number of viral infections that linger today such as the seasonal flu. There are many unknowns at the moment which could determine whether COVID-19 could be endemic.
Will there be an anti-viral drug and vaccine to cure COVID-19? Are these vaccines and treatment modalities safe and effective? Will we need to enforce extension or expansion of quarantine or social distancing measures to control or prevent the spread of COVID-19?
There is very little that people know about the disease. Scientists and medical researchers are doubling their efforts and collaborating to race against time. They need to find the cure and the vaccine for COVID-19 at the fastest rate possible to beat the disease from further disrupting and crippling societies and economies.
Exhausting every information or data available will help arm the healthcare system with the knowledge to create precise and accurate measures to help combat the disease. In just a short period of time, people have learned a lot from COVID-19 which is currently helping medical teams across the world to fight its further spread.
Right now, every nation is called to be more proactive and to not take things lightly when it comes to this coronavirus. The numerous extended lockdowns in different countries across the globe will speak volumes of how pandemic this is and how it has leveled the playing field for everyone.
Yes, every individual or country is vulnerable to COVID-19 but together, we can beat this!